Leket Israel and BDO’s recent study found high amounts of food waste among Israeli families, affecting the economy as a whole.
By Allison Jacobs
Findings in a recent study revealed waste in an Israel is a growing problem. In a press release from Leket Israel and BDO Israel on the Fourth Annual Food Waste and Rescue Report indicated the amount of food wasted in Israel last year trails slightly behind the EU.
The Report identified an overall loss of 2.5 million tons of food in Israel. The market value equates to a loss of NIS 19.7 billion or $5.5 billion, or 35% of all food produced. Losses related to household consumption of food amounted to a shocking 880,100 tons (1,940 million pounds).
A typical Israeli family discards $890 worth in food per year, which equates to a month and half worth of food.
The biggest source of waste comes from fruits and vegetables. Israeli households typically waste 23% compared to Europe at 19% and the U.S. at 28%.
In order to minimize food insecurity in Israel, a rescue of 20% of food wasted would be necessary to remedy the situation, which equates to NIS 3 billion or $834 million.
“Instead of providing a targeted solution, such as fighting the prices of cottage cheese and dairy products, the State of Israel must recognize the many advantages of food rescue and formulate a national policy, set goals and prepare a budget,” Gidi Kroch, CEO of Leket Israel says.
Chen Herzog, a Chief Economist at BDO also indicated food loss as a whole is causing an 11% spike in the price of food, which in turn impacts consumer’s finances and the cost of living.
Herzog is a proponent for implementing a policy for food rescue, specifically involving re-distribution of food to people in need.
“Food rescue is a winning solution, which closes the food insecurity gap by a direct savings of NIS 2.2. billion ($604 million in the U.S.),” Herzog says.